Monday, September 13, 2010

An Arts-Filled Weekend: A Welcome Back, A Goodbye & A Toast

What a weekend! I tried to get to everything. my feet sure are tired!

First up: Wilmington's Art on the Town on Friday, with great weather and an amazing artist roster. My evening favorite: Yakime Akelá Brown at the Grand Opera House, whose work was described as "colorful, eclectic and textural". They weren't kidding. His sizable works were a profusion of color and strong brush & palette strokes. More than once I sneaked over to touch a piece, so I could feel the energy he created. Also of note: Milton Downing's abstract acrylics at CCAC; Katlyn Cofranciso's wild ceramic work at Red Mohawk that made me cackle out loud; and Randy Ciurlino's digital photography at DCAD's faculty exhibit. It was a melancholy end of Loop, however, as we enjoyed the last show at Red Mohawk Gallery, simultaneously recognizing its 1-year anniversary. Although "the Cool has left the City", the Mohawk promises he himself won't be far away. He'll return periodically to host shows and keep his brand of energy alive in Wilmo. For now, please join me a in a moment of silence—with your fist in the air.

Next, as we soberly honored September 11, we also celebrated the good and the right, heralding the return of the Brandywine Arts Festival. Resurrected by Barry Schlecker and a host of artists and business supporters, the Fest couldn't have asked for a better welcome back: the aisles were packed with visitors, new artists and veteran favorites, in addition to excellent food & drink and a non-profit area that saw great traffic. Among my Artist notables (no in particular order): Mitch Lyons, Joy Davis (Joy Davis Designs), Rick Phillips, Jim Sprinkle, Jannine Lavner (Pick Me jewlery), Erin McNichol, Adopt-A-Bot, Eunice LaFate, Leah Van Rees, and Colleen Zufelt. But there were so many others! Hope you got to check it out.

To close the weekend, I attended Serafin String Quartet's CD Release & Send-Off Party, hosted at Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories in nearby West Grove, PA. It was a veritable Who's Who of Delaware Music, with David Schelat, Grant Youngblood, Mark Hagerty, Brian Stone, and Julie Nishimura among the attendees. The Serafins (violinists Kate Ransom & Timothy Schwarz, violist Ana Tsinadze and cellist Lawrence Stomberg) performed beautifully, as always. I do love to watch Ana play; she displays both intensity and gentle grace in performance. She introduced their first piece, Sachidao, as a "wrestling folk song" from the Republic of Georgia, composed in 1947 by Sulkhan Tsintsadze as part of his Three Miniatures for string quartet. (Tsindaze herself also hails from Georgia.) The short, lively piece was a great opening selection, highlighted with plucking violin strings. They followed with Amazing Grace, by Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning composer Jennifer Higdon. They closed their performance with two movements from Sanzas de Panama for String Quartet by William Grant Still, from the current CD. The first was in a Spanish style and the second an African style, which began with "drum sounds" from the ensemble tapping on their instruments and ended in a fervent jaunt. The Quartet is off to their September 25 premiere in London, but will return to open the Calvary Community Series on October 10. Their CD is available at

1 comment:

  1. This was the best Arts Festival in Brandywine Park I can remember... so many great artists this year! The food was good and affordable (love Fat Rick's!) and it was cool to browse around with a beer in hand. :D

    I loved Kacey Buchanan Stafford's booth, of Found Studio ... bought a ceramic bacon slice on Saturday, hung it in my kitchen, then had to go back Sunday for a matching ceramic egg. So cute! I also loved the booths of Dr. Krinkles/emiboz, Bradley J. Turner and of course Adopt-a-bot.

    My son's highlight was the Non-Profit section... especially the free little notepad/pen sets from the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems.

    A fun day -- can't wait for next year!